Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Pattern Hack Halter Dress - Part 1

I want to share with you an in-progress "pattern hack" dress project I have working in my sewing room.  Halter dresses seem to be all the rage this summer and I figured this cotton crepe that's been sitting in my stash for quite a while would be perfect.

I started by using this Simplicity pattern for the armhole shape.  After cutting off 1" at the top of the bodice, I pinned in six pleats on my dress form, marked them and sewed them down.  The smoother look of the pleats was better with the cotton than a drawstring.

After the pleats were in, I marked and cut a facing for the strap to run through.

I'm using some black seam binding to determine the length of the strap but I will be making the strap out of the fabric.

The skirt is up next!  I'll post the finished dress soon!

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Summer Sewing with TNT Patterns - Fabricmart Fabricista

I'm happy to be back this month with a summer Fabricista project and some exciting news...

There's nothing more rewarding for a sewist than having a TNT (tried and true) pattern you love to make, is easy to wear and versatile enough that you can make it over and over with great results.  I decided to set out and do just that:  design a line of modern patterns with friendly fully illustrated instructions that sewers could use to build their sewing skills, fill their closets and add to their TNT pattern list.  So with that, I'm excited to announce Blue Dot Patterns, my new sewing patterns!

For my summer outfit, I used one of Blue Dot's first patterns, the Dover Jacket which comes with two views. View A is short sleeved with a single button closure and view B has a 3/4 length sleeve, gathered bodice and a three button closure.

I chose a lightweight stretch denim from Fabricmart (sadly it sold out) would be perfect for view A because it would look great with some decorative machine stitching.

The cotton/lycra fabric I used is light, has stretch and a soft brushed face but the jacket would also work in quilting cottons, like this polka dot, twills and ponte knits.

Dover is a loose fitting jacket with raglan sleeves that goes together quickly.  I bound the jacket facing with bias I made using a bias tape maker and fabric from my stash (I think it looks interesting when the jacket comes open) and added strips of interfacing to the bottom of the jacket to stabilize the hem.

My "Details" Pinterest board was the inspiration for the topstitching.  After testing several different stitches on my machine, I ended up using a "dot and stitch" design around the edge of the jacket.

I debated on adding topstitched pockets to the front but after seeking the opinions of those around the house, I opted not to this time but I will the next time around.  I used a Burberry button I had in my button tin (I have no idea where it came from) to finish everything off.  I love it with the skirt but I also like that it can dress up a simple t-shirt.

For the summer skirt I used a Colette pattern I had in my stash.  The Ginger skirt pattern became a TNT pattern for me a couple of years back but it's been a while since she's been pulled it out.  The high waist silhouette lends itself to this bold stretch shirting from Fabricmart.  This cotton/lycra fabric is crisp and bright with a slight sheen and best of all, it's easy to sew.

I lengthened the skirt about 2" and added a cotton batiste lining but didn't change anything else.  This pattern has great instructions and would be perfect for a beginning intermediate sewist.

Thank you for letting me share my Blue Dot news with you and for all my Fabricista friends, the patterns are 40% off through the end of July.

Happy Sewing,

Diane at Gatorbunnysews.

Friday, July 3, 2015

My New Yellow Dress

I don't think I've had a yellow dress since I was probably five.  It was yellow and red calico, had a smocked top and, get this, it had a matching swimsuit.  Yes folks, I was rockin' the seventies.  Well here is my new yellow dress without the swimsuit.  You can thank me later....

I've been wanting to make this pattern out of a lightweight chambray I found on a recent shopping to LA but this pattern got some iffy reviews and I decided it would be prudent to make a muslin first.  This linen has been lying around my sewing room for a while and although I love the color I never made anything out of it so I decided it was good for a muslin.

I love the pockets on Simplicity 6182 and been hoping to try the pattern for quite some time.  In pattern reviews, it gets poor marks for instructions primarily because it has you baste together the bodice first, fit it, then sew it back together.  I skipped that and made the bodice and fit it at the same time.  A few reviewers did remark there was "gaping" at the neckline (which is a problem I often have anyway) so I made the neckline smaller by slashing and folding in a "dart" on the bodice front pattern piece.  This change worked out very well, no gaping.

All in all the dress went together smoothly, I like the style and I LOVE the pockets.  They are so much fun.